284-18 complaint U.D.S.Z. against V.D. due to discrimination based on sexual orientation in public information media

Opinion was issued in proceeding upon complaint filed by the association DSZ against VD, regarding a text published on January 12, 2018 under the title “In defense of the natural family” on the website www …. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality conducted a proceeding considering the allegations from complaints and pronouncements, the text of author VD, as well as the messages it sends, taking into consideration the spatial and temporal context. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality is pointing out that in handling this case she had in mind the importance and role of encouraging different stances and opinions in a society, but also the restrictively determined limits of the freedom of speech and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights applied in similar cases. The aspect of public manifestation of religion and belief, namely the right to freedom of creed in regards to the right to freedom from discrimination, has been specifically analyzed. Taking account of the entire context of VD’s text, particularly regarding the pronouncement he gave, the terms specified in the text, as well as the message he is sending, the Commissioner expressed the view that the stances expressed in the text “In defense of the natural family” are disturbing, humiliating and that they constitute a violation of the dignity of a group of persons on the basis of personal traits, thereby violating the provisions of Article 12 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. The Commissioner made a recommendation to VD to publicly apologize to persons of a different sexual orientation on his website, as well as to refrain from any acts and statements that violate the rules on the prohibition of discrimination in the future.




Brankica Janković
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